The City of Brotherly Love became the temporary centre of the manufacturing world last week as Rockwell Automation hosted its 21st annual Automation Fair event.

The event opened to more than 9,200 manufacturing business leaders, industry analysts, and technology and service providers from around the world at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

During a week of activities, customers had access to safety and process focused customer events, a global media forum, technology training sessions, seminars, industry focused forums, in-depth demonstrations, and more than 125 exhibitors showcasing the latest products and solutions from Rockwell Automation and its PartnerNetwork member companies. Attendees took advantage of this collective expertise to learn about the latest innovations designed to help optimise their automation investments and achieve their business goals.

“Together with our PartnerNetwork companies, we bring customers an ecosystem of experience and expertise,” said Keith Nosbusch, chairman and CEO, Rockwell Automation. “The Automation Fair event enables customers see how innovative automation technologies can improve their business profitability while optimising their equipment, production lines, plants and enterprise.”

Process industry customers traded insights at the Process Solutions User Group on 5th and 6th November. More than 600 process professionals converged at the Pennsylvania Convention Center to discuss trends and challenges affecting process industries, exchange best practices, and provide valuable feedback to Rockwell Automation on new PlantPAx process automation system features, functions and offerings. Attendees heard from Nancy Youn, director, Global Strategic Alliances, VMware, as she discussed the emergence of virtualisation technologies in the process industries. In addition, 29 customer speakers shared how they overcome day to day automation challenges using the PlantPAx system.

In addition, more than 300 participants attended the live Safety Automation Forum event on 6th November. The user event featured speakers from best-in-class manufacturers, including Kimberly-Clark, machine builder Automatic Handling International, and Grantek Systems Integration, who shared procedures that improve safety, productivity and business performance.

In the keynote address, Calvin Beyer, head of manufacturing at Zurich, explained how manufacturers can improve worker safety and boost the bottom line using a risk management strategy based on leading indicators. Attendees also learned about the latest technologies, legal considerations and regulatory standards for machinery, process and electrical safety applications from industry experts at the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), IFA, and one of the world’s largest corporate law firms, Eversheds LLP.